It is eight years after the events of Black October when a virus turned thousands of people into vampire-like creatures. Kate, her partner Charlie, and her daughter Sue have been living as close to a normal life as possible. When Sue defends Kate from attack, the news of Sue’s vampire nature leaks out and the two are taken to a secret military research facility set up to deal with the remaining victims of the virus.
At the facility Kate comes face-to-face with her old love, Caleb and the romance is rekindled. Sue finds herself involved with Caleb’s son, Alex. With Charlie’s intervention, an escape is planned but Kate remains torn between her love for Caleb and her love for Charlie.
Theme of the Book
Like the first book in the series, this volume, Raising a Vampire, combines action, romance, friendship, and excitement. The humanity of the characters, including the vampire characters, makes this a story of love and devotion instead of horror.
What I Liked About the Story
The best part of the novel is the humanity of the characters. It seems odd to describe a vampiric being as human, but each of the characters has strengths and weaknesses that are easily identifiable. Kate, the main character, bases almost all her actions on her emotions, whether they be love, fear, or anger. She is always having to choose between the two men she loves, Caleb from her vampire days, and Charlie, her current partner. Kate doesn’t always make the best choices, but the reader will certainly be sympathetic to her.
Caleb, Kate’s first real love, seems at first to be threatening. However, as the story progresses, we see the human side of Caleb and his despair at being held against his will. Even Major Moore, the commanding officer of the military installation where Kate and her daughter are being held, shows his emotional conflicts when he has to decide whether or not to incarcerate his own granddaughters.
The pacing of Raising a Vampire is excellent. There is plenty of action; there are love scenes; there is even a helicopter chase. There are a number of emotional scenes that will touch the heart. Readers will never be bored.
Many of the characters from the first book of the trilogy, Living Like a Vampire, reappear in this book and readers will be happy to find out what has happened to them in the interim.
What I Didn’t Like About the Story
There are times in this book, and in the previous volume, when Kate becomes almost too much to bear. Her constant apologizing and self-doubt make her an irritating character. Sometimes the reader will want to tell her to use her brain instead of her heart to make decision and spare us all the agonizing.
Kate’s daughter Sue is a bit of a problem. We are told that she is chronologically 8 years old yet she is presented as a teenager of at least 16. The author does explain that vampire children grow faster and stronger than normal children but Sue’s psychological development is left to the reader’s imagination. She may be physically a teenager but does her personality develop at the same rate? Evidently so, as Sue is able to hold adult conversations and have adult emotions but I do wish the author had spent some time describing this.
Finally, without giving away plot points, there are certain events in Raising the Vampire that I thought were beyond believable. Yes, this is a fantasy novel, but even so. I do feel particular points should have some relation to the real world.
This is a fine follow-up to the previous novel. The author has been able to go beyond the usual limits of the vampire genre to produce a good and complex story.